We adopted “Chuck” from OGA in March of 2008.
Chuck adapted to our family, and us to him in what was his first home/family experience, and for us, our first dog/greyhound experience. We really enjoyed his personality as it gradually emerged – he loved the kids, was always excited when the garage door opener signified someone was coming home – so excited, in fact, that he would stand with his back paws anchored on the carpet, and his front paws on the wood floor, because even after a year he hadn’t completely mastered the slipperiness of the wood, and knew he couldn’t trust that he could contain his excitement enough to risk all four paws…He also knew exactly when the kids would come up the stairs home from school, and was always ready to greet them with tail wagging.
He also loved the neighborhood walks, meeting the neighbors, looking at the neighborhood cats, and meeting some of the dogs (others he made sure they knew he was the alpha). He also really enjoyed his regular meetings through the fence slats (and going nose to nose for proper greetings) with “Nicey” and “Bitey” – the horses that live down the road. He knew you had to watch Bitey because Bitey likes to sniff you then try to make a snack out of your nose (or hand). It was always fun to tell the horses that Chuck would be faster than them, too.
Chuck enjoyed the usual greyhound things as well – especially lying on the carpet in the front window as the sun streamed in. While he never did figure out stairs, he did learn to fetch, understood the importance of being the morning alarm clock to ensure proper feeding, and he could detect a zip lock bag opening at 300 yards via sound (you know, lots of times there’s food in those bags). His mastered vocabulary included such words as “walk”, “outside”, “squirrel”, “food”, “hungry”, “starving”, and his personal favorite, “treat”.
He also developed a hobby of sorts – chasing and catching flies and bees. If a housefly was in the house, Chuck was all over it, running it down and clacking his jaws shut loudly trying to catch it. Outside he would be all over the yard tracking flies of various sorts, as well as bees – thankfully he was never successful in “clacking” down on a bee.
Unfortunately, after only spending about a year with his family, Chuck was diagnosed with a large blood clot in his vena cava vein that was inoperable. Our sincere thanks go to the numerous Portland area vets who consulted with us on the clot and the underlying causes, especially Dr. Lisa Thrower and Dr. Lisa McGarvey from Aloha Dog and Cat Hospital, as well as those at the OSU Vet School that took Chuck’s case to exhaust all medical options for him. Our thanks as well to the OGA family who gave us support, especially Carolyn, who’s been there with us from adoption all the way through.
Chuck passed peacefully with his family surrounding him on Wednesday afternoon.
He leaves behind his pack of Staci (the clear Alpha), Robert, Mikaelyn (10), Halleigh (8), and Ayden (5), richer for the experience with Chuck, deeply saddened with his passing. Some of our favorite pictures of Chuck are attached.
Robert & Staci